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Moment police find 10 migrants hiding in Italian refrigerated lettuce lorry in Sussex

Moment police find 10 migrants hiding in Italian refrigerated lettuce lorry in Sussex – as driver is arrested

  • Police were alerted to the Italian-registered lorry on the A24 in Findon Valley
  • Officers found the group of stowaways just before 7pm on Tuesday, April 27 
  • Lorry driver has since been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences 

Motorists were left stunned after ten illegal immigrants were hauled out of a refrigerated lettuce lorry.

Police were alerted to an Italian-registered lorry on the A24 in Findon Valley near Worthing, West Sussex.

Officers found the group of stowaways just before 7pm on Tuesday before emergency services carried out welfare checks.

The lorry driver has since been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences. 

Police were alerted to the Italian-registered lorry on the A24 in Findon Valley near Worthing, West Sussex

Officers found the group of stowaways just before 7pm on Tuesday before emergency services carried out welfare checks

Officers found the group of stowaways just before 7pm on Tuesday before emergency services carried out welfare checks

The lorry appeared to be transporting green vegetables in crates but also had people stowed away in its rear.

Video taken by passing drivers show the immigrants sitting by the side of the road as police officers carried out a search of the vehicle.  

A spokesman for Sussex Police said the lorry driver had been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences.

The police spokesman said: ‘The suspected immigrants were checked over by paramedics.

‘They were then escorted away by officers to be handed over to Home Office Immigration Enforcement and Border Force.

‘The driver was arrested on suspicion of immigration offences and taken to custody.’

Minister for Immigration Compliance and Justice Chris Philp told MailOnline: ‘We are determined to go after the callous people smugglers who exploit vulnerable people and put them in life-threatening situations. Immigration Enforcement Investigators have already secured 21 convictions this year.

‘We continue to work with law enforcement agencies to ensure that those who put lives at risk for money face the full force of the law.

‘As part of the New Plan for Immigration announced by the Home Secretary recently we proposed increased sentences in the UK for the facilitation of illegal entry to act as a further deterrent to these criminals.’ 

Motorists were left stunned after ten illegal immigrants were hauled out of the refrigerated lorry by police

Motorists were left stunned after ten illegal immigrants were hauled out of the refrigerated lorry by police

The lorry appeared to be transporting green vegetables in crates but also had people stowed away in its rear

The lorry appeared to be transporting green vegetables in crates but also had people stowed away in its rear

The group were escorted away by officers to be handed over to Home Office Immigration Enforcement and Border Force

The group were escorted away by officers to be handed over to Home Office Immigration Enforcement and Border Force

It comes just months after four people smugglers who killed 39 Vietnamese migrants by bringing them into the UK in a sealed lorry were jailed for a total of 78 years.

Drivers Eamonn Harrison, 23, and Maurice Robinson, 26 – together with Romanian fixer Gheorghe Nica, 43 – were paid by Ronan Hughes, 40, to ferry non-EU citizens into the UK.

Hughes headed the million-pound people-smuggling ring which used death trap lorries on multiple occasions – charging his human cargo up to £14,000 a head for a ‘VIP’ service.

But the journey in October 2019 went horribly wrong when driver Robinson opened the back of his refrigerated trailer in an industrial park in Grays, Essex, to be met with a gush of steam – and 39 bodies.

Hughes was jailed for 20 years, while fixer Nica – who arranged transport from Essex to London for the foreign nationals – was sentenced to 27.

Robinson was handed a 13-year and four-month sentence, while Harrison – who dropped off the trailer in Zeebrugge before it was sailed to Britain – was jailed for 18 years.

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